The final selection of the winners of the national “Astronaut for a day” competition was announced on July 1, 2023 at the Asteroid Day Festival, in the presence of ministers Franz Fayot, Georges Engel and Claude Meisch. Aimed at promoting the space sector and its many professions to young people, the competition was inspired by the astronaut selection procedure used by space agencies around the world.
Held between April and July 2023, the various stages of the competition included logic and comprehension tests, as well as physical aptitude checks. The winners of the competition, young people aged 13 or over and attending school in Luxembourg, will take part in a weightless flight on September 28, 2023.
35 winners selected
30 full astronauts for a day and 5 “reserve” astronauts were invited to take to the stage and briefly introduce themselves, alongside Ministers Franz Fayot, Claude Meisch and George Engel.
“Astronauts are people who know how to do a lot of things, they’re a bit like superheroes,” said Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot on Saturday.
The LSA group of “superheroes” – 30 winners, plus 5 “reserve” astronauts – is made up of young people from high schools all over the country. The age breakdown of the 23 boys and 12 girls is as follows:
- 13-14 years: 13 (37%)
- 15-16 years old 13 (37%)
- 17 and over: 9 (26%)
Ambassadors for the future of space
Talent development is essential for the future of the space industry, as the sector is subject to fierce competition for a relatively small pool of talent. With this in mind, and to celebrate its 5th anniversary, LSA has organized the “Astronaut for a Day” competition to raise awareness among children, students and the general public of space in general, and of the many related professions.
The 35 winners will become space ambassadors during the 2023/2024 school year, to set up initiatives to promote space in their respective communities, with the help of LSA.
“I hope to see these young ambassadors promote space, but also initiatives similar to this one in their schools and in every school in the country. These are extraordinary opportunities,” hopes Minister Claude Meisch.
They will be invited to come and meet industry professionals, and to represent space at various events.
“Team spirit is a value that can carry us further, in any situation, and certainly in space too,” emphasized Georges Engel, Minister for Sports.
It is in this spirit that a group dynamic will be created, to bring the young ambassadors together, and to co-create with them the agenda for these events and the initiatives put in place.